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If you are idle, be not solitary; if you are solitary, be not idle.
Dr Samuel Johnson, (Letter to Boswell) Boswell, Life of Johnson

Tue Apr 02, 2002

Finale Liguria

Dear Journal, leaving Milan late to avoid the holiday traffic we arrived in Finale after midnight. The cave we intended to sleep in was already fully occupied and our last resort the campsite was already shut. We threw our bags down where we stood and slept in the open air.

The following day the splendor of Finale was revealed. The blue sky, the shimmering blue sea, and the endless rolling hills carpeted with dense woodlands interrupted by white limestone outcrops on which we would climb. It seemed like a little paradise, how could it get more perfect than this. I had expected the crags to be next to the sea, but in fact they are a little inland spread out in small valleys between the coastline and the autostrada that weaves its way in and out of the hillsides.

Our first day was an introduction to Finale grading which does not echo the areas tranquil nature. I would say the grades are at least 1 or maybe even 2 grades under graded, but at the end of the day its all relative, even if your pride is dented a little. The quality of rock is second to none, pocketed limestone, slabs, overhangs, steep walls, multi pitch or single pitch all with excellent protection, some of it which is funded by the local climbers shop in Finalborgo and the publication of the excellent Finale guide.

Alberto had been here before, and he introduced me to Monte Sordo a fine body of rock along a quiet valley above Finalborgo. We climbed the full height of the crag combining two routes to make a wonderful 6a, 6b+ that followed first a crack and then an airy aréte. The weather was hot, and here it was not possible to climb in the shade. So it is strange that the next day we choose another crag (the fantastic Rian Cornei) also in the sun to meet our friend Claudia. Well, its hard to resist the chance to get a bit red for an English man on holiday, and here you definitely feel that you are on holiday. Our final day was spent at Caprazoppa one of the few places you can climb overlooking the sea.